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Poland to Ban Sunday Shopping

Conservative parliament passes bill despite claims it will cramp the economy and cut jobs.

28 November 2017

Sunday shopping is a modern tradition in Central and Eastern Europe, where consumer spending has driven economic growth since the end of communism. The trend is about to reverse course in Poland, the region’s largest economy.

 

Polish lawmakers on Friday approved the government’s bill to gradually phase out Sunday shopping over the next three years.

 

Trade unions supported the bill saying it would allow workers to spend more time with their families, The Associated Press reports.

 

The conservative-dominated parliament and government pushed for the change over objections the shopping restrictions would hurt the economy and eliminate thousands of jobs.

 

The interior of a shopping mall in Krakow. Zygmunt Put Zetpe0202/Wikimedia Commons.

 

The bill would bring in gradually stricter limits on Sunday shopping starting next March, prohibiting it completely in 2020 with a few exceptions.

 

Opposition politicians said the law would limit jobs for students and stem the weekly flow of cross-border shoppers from Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and Slovakia, according to AFP.

 

Poland’s Catholic bishops issued a statement saying the bill did go far enough and that all workers should enjoy Sundays off, the AP says.

 

Sunday and holiday shopping is restricted in most of the EU’s largest countries, but only recently have the newer members tried to limit it. The role of Sunday shopping in their economies was underlined by Poland’s largest clothing retailer, LPP, which generates 18 percent of revenue from Sunday shoppers, Bloomberg writes.

 

 

  • Hungary introduced a ban on Sunday shopping in 2015 but lifted it a year later because the public was unhappy with the change.

 

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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